Dictionary > Simian

Simian

Definition
noun, plural: simians
Any of the placental primates, particularly hominins, apes and monkeys
Supplement
Primates are placental mammals that may be grouped into prosimians and simians. Prosimians are characterized by their rather primitive features compared with those of simians. They include lemurs, lorisoids, tarsiers, adapiforms, and non-simian omomyids. Simians include hominins, apes, and monkeys.
Taxonomically, the order Primates has two suborders: the Strepsirrhini and the Haplorhini. The Haplorhini includes the simians and the tarsiers. The tarsier line and the simian line diverged during the Cenozoic era, i.e. about 60 million years ago. The simians may be subdivided into two major groups: catarrhines (Old World monkeys and apes) and platyrrhines (New World monkeys). Catarrhines are characterized by having the nostrils close together (narrow-nosed). They include gibbons, orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, and humans. Platyrrhines are simians characterized by having a flat-bridged nose. They include the marmosets, tamarins, capuchins, squirrel monkeys, owl monkeys, titis, sakis, uakaris, woolly monkeys, etc.
Word origin: Latin sīmia ‎(ape, monkey), Greek simós (snub-nosed)
Scientific classification:

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Primates
  • Suborder: Haplorhini
  • Infraorder: Simiiformes (Haeckel, 1866)

See also:

Related term(s):

  • Simian fissure
  • Simian virus

You will also like...

Plant biology
Plant Biology

Plantlife can be studied at a variety of levels, from the molecular, genetic and biochemical level through organelles, c..

Selective Breeding
Selective Breeding

Gregor Mendel's studies into Monohybrid and Dihybrid crossing and Charles Darwin's study of evolution and natural select..

Lentic community
Freshwater Communities & Lentic Waters

Lentic or still water communities can vary greatly in appearance -- from a small temporary puddle to a large lake. The s..

Early Mammals on Earth
Early Mammals on Earth

The Earth's ecosphere was rapidly changing and throwing up a wide range of ecological niches that new adaptive organisms..

Ecosystem Succession
Ecosystem Succession

If the balance of nature is left untouched, landscapes can change dramatically over time. A previous ecosystem is supers..

Plant meristem
Plant Meristems and Growth

In plants, growth occurs in meristems, which are the site of repeated cell division of unspecialized cells. These cells ..